2023 Best 40-Under-40 MBA Professors: Alexander A. Lebedev, Singapore Academy of Corporate Management

Congrats to Alexander A. Lebedev of the Singapore Academy of Corporate Management for being named a 2023 Best 40 Under 40 MBA Professor.

Alexander A. Lebedev

Singapore Academy of Corporate Management

“Alexander is one of our most energetic and passionate professors, and our youngest professor. Despite his age, he and his students from Europe and Asia have already made a big impact in the region. Prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Alexander worked hard to build a fair market economy and promote the culture of capitalism in his native Russia. After the outbreak of the conflict, he ceased to cooperate with Russian institutions and authorities and, despite the losses, left the Boards of Directors of Russian companies. We believe that if there were a little more people like Alexander in Russia, the Russian invasion of Ukraine would not have happened, because a country with a high corporate culture cannot afford this.”Karina Wong, SACM Rector

Alexander A. Lebedev, 38, is the youngest professor at the Singapore Academy of Corporate Management. He is engaged in corporate governance and came to teaching from practice. He was nominated for the Honorary Membership of the British Business Academy for the development of the Advanced Non-Executive Directors training course.

He has worked on the development of state laws and international standards in the field of corporate governance, stewardship, and ESG with groups such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, the International Sustainability Standards Board, and the International Organization for Standardization.  

BACKGROUND

At current institution since what year? Since 2021 

Education: DBA, Corporate Governance, British Business Academy 

List of MBA courses you currently teach: 

  • Corporate Governance of the 21st century
  • Stakeholder Capitalism and ESG
  • Non-Executive and Independent Directors training
  • IP Commercialization & Technology Transfer
  • M&A

TELL US ABOUT LIFE AS A BUSINESS SCHOOL PROFESSOR

I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when… Well, I came to teaching from practice, it was very gradual, and I think it cannot be said that there was a certain fateful moment: First, I, the current Chairman of the Board of Directors, was invited to speak to a group of students and graduates (it was a good experience), then I was offered to speak regularly (I was excited), then time passed, and now I already have DBA degree and my own doctoral students. 

What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it? I think that humanity has an underestimated driver of progress – small businesses, and start-ups, especially in third-world countries. Their founders and managers often think that Corporate Governance is not for them, because it is expensive, complicated, and redundant. They associate corporations with something distant, often inhuman, something out of cyberpunk. 

My mission is to show them Corporate Governance as something that can be useful for making a better life for themselves, their shareholders, and their stakeholders.

If I weren’t a business school professor… It is difficult to say unequivocally, history does not tolerate a subjunctive mood. I think that in general everything would be the same, I would continue to work on the Boards of Directors. But I would have at least one more child. There would be more time and desire for expansion (which is now satisfied by the expansion of ideas) for him or her. 

What do you think makes you stand out as a professor? I cannot be objective in this matter. But I’m not afraid to take one step more than my colleagues. One more try, one more approach, one more proposition before giving up. 

One word that describes my first time teaching: Game

Here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me about being a business school professor: You can do a lot if you don’t ask anyone’s permission (but immediately bring an action plan with clear and understandable goals for approval).

Professor I most admire and why: “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants”.  The number of my own “Giants” is more than one, and it would be unfair to note some of them and not note others. 

TEACHING MBA STUDENTS

What do you enjoy most about teaching business students? Their results after courses. I feel connected and uplifted to see them win.

What is most challenging? To find a balance between the roles of expert and teacher. I would like to give more than the students at this stage need: more details, exceptions, nuances. Over time, I learned to concentrate, but this is often a challenge.

In a word, describe your favorite type of student: Burning 

In a word, describe your least favorite type of student: Devastated

When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as… I don’t think, I’m absolutely sure, that my students highly appreciate my style (in all internal Academy polls, I get into the top results), they note my systematic approach, what I do is orderly, whole and complete courses.  

LIFE OUTSIDE OF THE CLASSROOM

What are your hobbies? Diving, reading, walking, hiking, traveling, family time, playing board (yes, it’s funny) and video games, learning new things.

How will you spend your summer? I think I’ll spend more time with my family, maybe we’ll visit new places of interest or maybe we’ll even try a new vacation format. I will attend a couple of conferences on corporate governance in different countries. I will dive to some new wreck, SS Thistlegorm or Zenobia. 

Favorite place(s) to vacation: New ones. 

Favorite book(s): It depends. The first books that come to mind right now are “My Life and Work” (the autobiography of Henry Ford), “The Master and Margarita” by Mikhail Bulgakov, and almost all “The Discworld” series by Terry Pratchett. 

What is currently your favorite movie and/or show and what is it about the film or program that you enjoy so much? It depends. Hayao Miyazaki`s anime. Victor Ginzburg’s “Generation P”.

What is your favorite type of music or artist(s) and why? It depends. I looked at what was last played in the iPhone, and there is “Heroes of Might and Magic OST” by Paul Romero, “Vitte nado visit” by Dorevolucionnyi Sovetchik, and “Radio” by Rammstein.

What is your favorite type of game and why? Well, first of all, business simulations for leadership, hard and soft skills development. I think the Game Phenomenon is still underestimated, and we will have many interesting discoveries on the way to becoming Homo ludens. 

Secondly, sports games. “Mens sana in corpore sano”. My preferences often change according to my mood, and I can’t say that I have mastery in any sport.

And video games. TES3 Morrowind, FTL, Deus Ex serial. I like video games that give immersion in well-developed worlds. Those games in which you associate yourself not with the character, but with the team of authors, and look for sensations or meanings. It’s like a good book, but in the book, the story is linear, while the game gives you a “3D experience”. 

THOUGHTS AND REFLECTIONS

If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this… Fusion. Different persons (perhaps not only biological people), cultures, emotions, arguments, solutions, and formats self-organizing with the help of different algorithms of neural networks into the Great Game, where the border between training cases and real projects is erased. 

In my opinion, companies and organizations today need to do a better job at… A balance between the interests of all stakeholders, from employees and shareholders to our grandchildren who will inherit the planet.

I’m grateful for… Everything! I think I’m very lucky. I am grateful to my family, friends, colleagues, shareholders, and, last but not least, Poets&Quants. 

DON’T MISS: THE ENTIRE 2023 ROSTER OF THE WORLD’S BEST 40-UNDER-40 MBA PROFESSORS

 

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